Spring brings flowers … and cattle dung

Spring is very likely here and the running water all around reminds me of a question I ask myself every year at this time … Why is the water leaving Lac La Hache blue and clear and yet, after travelling just a few hours downstream, it hits Williams Lake roughly the colour and thickness of a Louisiana swamp?

Spring is very likely here and the running water all around reminds me of a question I ask myself every year at this time … Why is the water leaving Lac La Hache blue and clear and yet, after travelling just a few hours downstream, it hits Williams Lake roughly the colour and thickness of a Louisiana swamp?

I may be way off base here, but if it looks like a cow and it smells like a cow … .

In fact, our lake is so unappealing that it’s pretty much a non-event.

No marina, no Sea-doo or boat rentals, no bait shop, no summer cottages, no fishing derby, no water sport contests, no rowing club, no inviting multi-unit lakeshore residences or boardwalk restaurants.

Not even a simple campground with a beach … and no sign of this changing.

Fact is, the lake looks gross and polluted and begs people to go somewhere else.

The only time the water really gets used by any large number of folks is at the annual Polar Bear Swim — but even the bacteria think it’s too cold to come out on Jan. 1.

I really do support our local cattle growers — steaks and burgers are a few of my favourite things — but it seems ridiculous that legislation protecting our fresh-water supply has driven the cost for a new residential septic system into the tens of thousands of dollars, yet ranchers continue to feed and water huge crowds of cows in or directly adjacent to the San Jose River.

It’s illegal to use a two-stroke motor on a lake; it’s illegal to import sand for the beach at your cabin; you can’t build closer than 50 feet from the shoreline; you’re not supposed to have an outhouse anymore; and the health boards want to make it mandatory to filter any lake water used for drinking — at the owner’s expense, of course — yet somehow it’s totally cool to let your herd of cattle use the creek as their outhouse?

Once again, summer’s coming and we’ll all be off to Chimney Lake or Horsefly for a swim.

Dean Fulton is a local musician and Tribune columnist.

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